In 2018 I still haven't broken out of the indie rock circle that I've been lost in for the last 25 years. The best music has guitars. The best songwriters are women. Just like it has always been. These are my favorite albums of last year:

  1. Yowler - Black Dog In My Path Listen to "WTFK" (YouTube)
  2. Frankie Cosmos - Vessel Listen to "Jesse" (YouTube)
  3. The Lovely Eggs - This Is Eggland Listen to "Wiggy Giggy" (YouTube)
  4. Lala Lala - The Lamb Listen to "Destroyer" (YouTube)
  5. Speedy Ortiz - Twerp Verse Listen to "Lean In When I Suffer" (YouTube)
  6. The Beths - Future Me Hates Me Listen to "Whatever" (YouTube)
  7. Dilly Dally - Heaven Listen to "Marijuana" (YouTube)
  8. Hookworms - Microshift Listen to "Static Resistance" (YouTube)
  9. Cat Power - Wanderer Listen to "Woman" (YouTube)
  10. The Decemberists - I'll Be Your Girl Listen to "Severed" (YouTube)

These last few months I finally found the time and inspiration to finish a few songs of which the underpinnings have been lying around for quite some years. Drawing from this unexpected rush of inspiration I even created an entirely new one, on my birthday, in the span of an hour and a half. I can't deny feeling at least a little bit proud of those five Wolfshoek songs. They're short and sketchlike, all five together are over and done with in a little over ten minutes. But I seem to have regained the joy of making music and that's a thing that excites me. I'm looking forward to creating some more songs in the next year.

And this is the ‘too long, didn't listen’ list of just my ten favorite songs, also from the least to the most noisy.

These are my favorite songs of this year. I figured I had to stick them in some order, so I ordered them from the least up to the most noisy.

A new sketch-like song that was quick to execution: “Verjaardag Thuis”. You can hear my daughter in the background.

The time of year has set in where I mostly just stop listening to new records and start revisiting records from the last eleven months. So if you want to get in my year-end list, releasing your album in December means you're out of luck.

I always thought that liking the earliest Rainer Maria records was kind of a guilty pleasure, but my favorite album of theirs got the Pitchfork Seal of Approval, so yeah.

I'm obsessed with Cat Power's gorgeous song “Woman”.

Went to see the Beths in my hometown – their album is one my personal favorites this year, and their show was awesome. If you're into Death Cab For Cutie, you can catch the Beths again as support during their European tour. On a much bigger stage, and well-deserved.

I know I'm starting to sound like some dude constantly harping on his old favorites, but the reissue of Bikini Kill's singles compilation couldn't not be mentioned. 25-some years in, these songs still are such a monumental triumph, calling patriarchy, harassment and prejudice towards women to order, before ripping right through it.

It was awesome seeing Kathleen Hanna perform with the Julie Ruin last year – she's a bona fide hero. Their show was great in and of itself, so they didn't need to, but lord was it great that they did: ending the show with the defining rallying cry of female confidence: "Rebel Girl".